Wavell Warriors begin their campaign…

February 27, 2019

Tropical Cyclone Oma did its best to blow the Wavell Warriors’ 2019 plans out of the water, however coach Mr James Francis and his team rose to the challenge last week to complete their annual preseason camp.

The ever-gruelling getaway, which sees the school’s top senior rugby league players brave the elements and tackle mental and physical challenges over three days at the typically picturesque Lake Cootharaba, delivered more challenges than ever before.

Rising tides, pouring rain and cyclonic winds – brought on by Tropical Cyclone Oma – made conditions difficult for the 46 senior boys, however Francis said “they pushed through and completed every challenge thrown at them”.

Setting off early on Wednesday, the boys arrived at Elanda Point camping area and pushed their outrigger canoes 6.5km through waist-deep water before paddling 5km up the Noosa River to setup camp at Harry’s Hut camp site.

An overnight deluge saw some players soaked after their player-made shelter was unable to withstand the weight of water.

However, some adjustments on Thursday afternoon saw the structure withstand the wind gusts and added rain, enabling the boys to recover from a 14km round trip paddle up the Noosa River and a 12km run to Cooloola Sandpatch.

The final day saw the winds pick up and, without question, the toughest of the three days.

Against a raging current, the group made the six-hour journey back towards Elanda Point camping area.

Canoeing upstream against the winds proved difficult enough before entering Lake Cootharaba, where waves swamped the group, forcing the canoe of staff members Mr James Francis, Mr Paul Stanley and Mr Guy Williams to capsize.

The trio recovered and led the students on a trek across the lake in what Sunshine Coast Environmental Education Centre principal and camp facilitator Trent Webb described as “the toughest conditions he’s been in with young people.”

The players’ honesty, accountability and resilience shone through on the camp with individual players calling upon their teammates to reach the high standards of the Warriors program.